February 8th Speaker Series Video Available

Simona Margaritescu's presentation A Fungus' Journey from Field to Fungarium is now available to MST members to watch on the meetings video page.

An introduction to the TRTC Fungarium and the progression of a fungus from collection to curation and storage through stories, photographs and anecdotes.

MST meeting video screenshot

Simona finished her Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at University of Bucharest, Romania followed by a MSc degree in Genetics and Cell Biology at the same university. Before making Canada her home, she taught Plant Systematics in the Department of Botany at University of Bucharest. During that time, she organized and participated in many biodiversity fieldtrips. These trips piqued her interest in fungi so, after coming to Canada, she studied Penicillium molds in Dr. David Malloch’s laboratory at the University of Toronto. In 2004, she became the Mycology Technician at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).

Her position at the ROM has two main facets. She manages the ROM’s Fungal Collection (TRTC Fungarium) and is responsible for the operations of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory. As the TRTC manager, Simona is responsible for maintaining, preparing, and identifying the fungal collections and handling loans and exchanges with other herbaria. In addition, she has been managing the electronic database associated with these collections.

Simona teaches specimen preparation techniques and data entry practices to casual staff, summer students and volunteers. She also responds to general inquiries about fungi, gives lectures, and guides tours in the ROM’s Fungal Collection.

Besides her collection management responsibilities, Simona directs the day-to-day running of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory and assists in fungal research projects by generating and analyzing molecular data obtained from various fungal species. She also teaches molecular laboratory techniques to graduate, undergraduate students, and visiting scholars.

Myco-Consortium talk February 16: Rosanne Healy

As part of the MST's membership in the Myco-Consortium series of Zoom talks, MST members are invited to join the presentation on Thursday February 16th at 7pm ET:

Dishing on the Cup Fungi: The Pezizales & Their Varied Lifestyles

A talk by Rosanne Healy
Thursday February 16th, 7pm ET

Rosanne will talk about her travels and work to better understand the relationships, ecology, and life history of the group of fungi that we know as “the cup fungi”. These are the fungi that include the famous black Perigord truffle, delectable morels, and iconic scarlet cups. They also include many lesser known, but fascinating truffles and cup-shaped, columniform, and saddle-shaped fungi. Rosanne has traveled and worked with Don Pfister and a team of truffle mycologists for twenty five years, tracking down data to help fill in the natural history of truffles and cup fungi, to better understand how they are related, what their ecologies are, and how their ancestors moved around to where they are now.




About Rosanne Healy

Dr. Rosanne Healy received her advanced degrees from Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota. She did post doctoral work with Don Pfister at Harvard. Her research centers on Pezizomycete systematics, with an emphasis on truffles. She has been working in the teaching program, and as a fungarium manager and research scientist in Matthew Smith’s Lab at the University of Florida since 2015.

How to Join:

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Speaker Series at Patagonia Toronto Feb. 8th

We are proud to announce that Patagonia Toronto will be hosting the MST in-person speaker series on Wednesday February 8th, 2023 at 7:00 PM.

A unique collaboration between Patagonia Toronto and the interim director of the ROM Fungarium, Simona Margaritescu.

Patagonia will be providing finger food and beverages.

There is a limited capacity for this event, you must register to attend.

Date: Wednesday February 8th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 500 King Street W, Toronto, ON M5V 1L9 – Patagonia Store
Speaker: Simona Margaritescu – ROM Fungarium
Presentation: A Fungus’ Journey From Field to Fungarium

An introduction to the TRTC Fungarium and the progression of a fungus from collection to curation and storage through stories, photographs and anecdotes.

Simona finished her Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at University of Bucharest, Romania followed by a MSc degree in Genetics and Cell Biology at the same university. Before making Canada her home, she taught Plant Systematics in the Department of Botany at University of Bucharest. During that time, she organized and participated in many biodiversity fieldtrips. These trips piqued her interest in fungi so, after coming to Canada, she studied Penicillium molds in Dr. David Malloch’s laboratory at the University of Toronto. In 2004, she became the Mycology Technician at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).

Her position at the ROM has two main facets. She manages the ROM’s Fungal Collection (TRTC Fungarium) and is responsible for the operations of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory. As the TRTC manager, Simona is responsible for maintaining, preparing, and identifying the fungal collections and handling loans and exchanges with other herbaria. In addition, she has been managing the electronic database associated with these collections.

Simona teaches specimen preparation techniques and data entry practices to casual staff, summer students and volunteers. She also responds to general inquiries about fungi, gives lectures, and guides tours in the ROM’s Fungal Collection.

Besides her collection management responsibilities, Simona directs the day-to-day running of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory and assists in fungal research projects by generating and analyzing molecular data obtained from various fungal species. She also teaches molecular laboratory techniques to graduate, undergraduate students, and visiting scholars.

November 15th Speaker Series Video Available

Diane Borsato's presentation Mushrooming: The Joy of the Quiet Hunt is now available to MST members to watch on the meetings video page.

Diane Borsato’s new book is a lavishly illustrated guide that explores the fascinating, the delicious, the deadly and the strange world of fungi from the forest to the field to the market - and how mushrooming can radically expand our perspectives, connect us to nature, and quietly enrich our lives.

Borsato will discuss several examples of fungi in contemporary art - and how artists use mushrooms to explore the unexpected wilderness of cities, what happens to our bodies after we die, and new ways for us to perceive the world and ourselves.

Mushrooming: The Joy of the Quiet Hunt, Diane Borsato, illustrated by Kelsey Oseid, 2022 Find the book anywhere books are sold in September 2022 in Canada. The book will be released in March 2023 in the US

MST meeting video screenshot

Diane Borsato completed an MFA at Concordia in Montreal, and an MA in Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is an award-winning artist, educator and amateur mycologist and beekeeper - who works closely with other artists and amateur naturalists. She has performed and exhibited in Canada and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant, the AGYU, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Walter Philips Gallery at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Art Centre Fogo Island Arts, the Creative Time Summit, and at the Toronto Biennial of Art. She has been twice nominated for the Sobey Art Award, and she won the prestigious Victor Martin-Lynch Staunton Award, in addition to numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her work. Diane Borsato is also Associate Professor of Experimental Studio at the University of Guelph in Canada, where she teaches courses exploring live, site-responsive environmental art practices.

Her recent books include Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art (2021) co-edited with Amish Morrell, and MUSHROOMING – A field guide to mushrooms and fungi in contemporary art - launching in Canada in the fall of 2022 and in the US in the spring of 2023. See her work at www.dianeborsato.net

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